Digicro, which offers micro loans to unbanked people in Cambodia, has attracted $300,000 in seed funding to grow the mobile side of its business. The latest round of investment was led by a Japanese venture capital player Showcase Capital.
Digicro said the new capital will help boost its micro loan service via subsidiary Spean Luy. It will be used to develop Spean Loan, a mobile app which bases micro loans around machine learning. It enables borrowers to apply for a small loan in around 10 minutes, ranging from $50 up to $1,000, without paperwork or an office visit. Spean Loan uses machine learning to build a credit scoring system and evaluate a borrower’s ability to repay. Currently it works on both iOS and Android, and is pending a business licence so that it can begin to operate.
“This new way of applying for a loan on Spean Loan uses smart technology to gather information from our customers and helps them get a loan as fast as possible, while screening them to get the most credible customers,” said Faizal Martinus, Head of IT at Spean Luy. “We minimise the hassle commonly faced during loan applications. Most importantly, the data will be stored in a secure and protected environment.”
Digicro, which stands for Digital Microfinance, was founded by Yuta Nagano in 2018 with the aim of giving all people access to finance: “More than 60% of Cambodians have access to the Internet but many of them still cannot get a loan because they have a lack of official documents or collateral, or they live in a remote area where banks don’t operate,” said Nagano. “Our team developed Spean Loan to serve those underserved people through our app. Instant approval will help micro entrepreneurs get their daily working capital as well as people who need emergency funds. We strongly believe we can contribute to financial inclusion in the country.”

by Guy Matthews